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Counting Heads

I feel terrible that I haven’t blogged in many days. I have some pretty good excuses (e.g., my day job’s overwhelming, I’ve been working on a new version of the SheltieRescueMall web store, the 2008 ASSA National Sheltie Specialty is coming up fast, blah, blah, blah), but so what…

I thought it might be interesting to tell everybody just who we have here at the moment – of course, it changes constantly, so this entry will be out of date within days, I’m sure.

Here they are in no particular order:

  •  Sly – He’s ours; we adopted him about seven years ago when he came into our program. He’s getting old, just over 13 years, his joints hurt him, his digestive tract is a little off-kilter, his hearing’s not so good, his sight’s getting a bit dim, and he’s getting really grouchy. But all he wants is to be loved and to not feel threatened by the other dogs. He’s wonderful and we will cherish every single day we have with him.
  • Star – She’s ours, too; we adopted her a couple of years ago when she came to us as a rescue. She is incredibly sweet and very affectionate, loves to cuddle, and complains loudly every Thursday when this huge green truck comes by and…steals our garbage! The only down side is that Star would really thrive much better in a home that she shared with either no dogs or with only one other dog. If we found just the right home, we would have to consider letting her go, but it’d be hard.
  • Czar – For the life of me, I don’t understand why nobody has adopted Czar. He is a lovely little gentleman, very sweet, and hangs around with me in my office almost all of the time I’m working. Yes, he’s barky, but what Sheltie isn’t :) His hearing’s mostly gone and his joints give him problems (which unfortunately makes him a little protective about being touched some of the time). But he’s just great!
  • Shelbee – This senior girl came to us very fat and with terrible arthritis. She’s lost a bunch of weight and is really healthy, but she still has some problems standing up and going up and down stairs. Even though she’s gotten rather barky (they sure do pick up bad habits from one another!), she’s usually very calm and laid back. She moans in pleasure when petted, and she can’t prevent her tail from wagging when somebody calls her name.
  • Strawberry – She’s not as senior, but she also came to us obese with arthritis. Poor Strawberry has to sleep downstairs in the family room (most of the others sleep with us in our bedrooom, a goodly number of them in bed with us) because she has so much trouble coming down the stairs in the morning. She’s pretty quiet and often hangs around my desk during the day. She loves a cuddle, which I give her often…it makes me feel great, too.
  • Simone – She came to us a couple of years ago from a puppy mill situation along with her “sister” Ritzy, neither of them named. Ritzy’s been adopted to a perfect home for her, but so far nobody’s wanted to adopt Simone. Part of that has been my fault, part of it hers: she is so wary of me that she won’t pose for me to photograph her.  We’ve recently gotten some good photos (yay, Fientje!) that I hope to put up on the web. She’s very quiet and sweet, and she goes to Barbara to ask for attention and snuggles in bed with Barbara…when I’m not around. But,when I come into the room, she’s off the bed in total panic, afraid that I might pet her or cuddle with her. Sigh…
  • Tommy – Our double-merle, blind and deaf white Sheltie has been with us a little more than a year. We once thought that we’d found the right home for him, but the family feared that they didn’t have the right resources to give Tommy the environment that he needs. He’ll stay with us until the perfect home comes along. He’s really smart and he adores being around me, but he’s also gotten very protective of himself when other dogs are too near him. He’s been nailed enough times that he warns other dogs off pretty assertively. Unfortunately, he prefers to hang out under/behind the dining table or in the kitchen to be out of the way. And that’s a real shame!
  • Duke – This is a largish Sheltie…far from the largest we’ve had, but at least he’s very healthy and not at all fat! He is really wonderful, and I’m being very cautious about whether to keep him or adopt him out (I don’t want to repeat the mistake I made by letting Indy be adopted!). He has obviously had a brain transplant, though! He’s definitely a Sheltie, but he’s got a lot of Border Collie characteristics, especially his intensity and the ways that he plays. Plus, he’s absolutely obsessed with having things thrown for him to go get or catch!
  • Jazzy – She is a very small Sheltie…and she came with Duke! She’s a bit shy, but she really loves us to talk baby talk to her and to pet her gently. She likes to be near us, but is sometimes anxious about being really close. She and Duke are yin and yang: he’s big, while she’s small; he’s gregarious and playful, while she’s reserved and quiet; he’s a light blond sable, she’s a tri-color.
  • Alex – Eleven years old, he recently came into the program (along with Missy, coming next) when his Mom had to move into a nursing home. He was very, very depressed and we worked hard to let him know that his life wasn’t going to be bad and he didn’t need to be sad. He’s extremely affectionate, has the sooooffffffftest coat (a fault in a Sheltie, but really nice to touch), and is rail thin. When I look straight on at his face, he reminds me of a Wolf Eel (google for photos of Wolf Eels…they’re ugly/cute and affectionate). He often sleeps between my knees.
  • Missy – She came to us with Alex and was at least as depressed as he was. But she’s not a Sheltie. I can’t believe it…we have a Miniature Schnauzer in our midst. I have no clue what goes on between her ears, but she really is sweet. Unfortunately – who knew! – she barks more than the Shelties. She gets cold easily, and often sleeps under the covers with us, frequently with her chin on my shoulder.
  • KayLee – Another non-Sheltie (well, maybe she’s got some Sheltie in her), she came to us from a woman who had trained KayLee to be her assistance dog. But KayLee had gotten somewhat older and arthritic and could no longer pull the woman’s wheelchair up ramps. She is incredibly sweet and is very intuitive about many things. She has been serious help in breaking up fights that sometimes develop among the pack here…not hurting anybody, not biting them, but merely laying on top of one combatant until we can calm everybody down! KayLee’s one fault is that she so wants attention that she comes whenever we call anybody!
  • Misty – This very overweight and recently shaved girl came to us from a puppy mill along with her “sister” Honey (whom we had to help cross the Rainbow Bridge only a few days after she arrived, due to severe kidney failure and other problems) and her “brother” Chewie (more about him below). Mist, like KayLee above, is starved for attention. She’s very affectionate, but her weight and joint problems prevent her from sleeping upstairs in our bedroom, so she has to sleep downstairs along with Strawberry and Chewie.
  • Chewie – Poor guy! Not only is he 14 years old(!) and did nothing for entire life except produce puppies, only to be dumped the moment they decided he wasn’t good for that any more. His left front paw was seriously damaged some time in the past and a couple of the toes are fused together; the entire paw looks like a club foot, twisted funny and much wider than his other paws. His right rear paw was all chewed up and had raw open sores all over…plus, it’s missing a toe entirely! We think he has been mauled by other dogs and never treated for it. Poor guy wears an Elizabethan collar so we can get his foot to heal; otherwise, it’s going to have to be amputated. But he is the happiest, most affectionate little guy. Regardless of how much he’s had to endure, he has the greatest attitude and personality.
  • Sienna – She came to us from a puppy mill in Missouri and had lived (unnamed) in a rabbit hutch along with her daughter Jet (see below) for her entire nine years doing nothing but popping out litter after litter. She was terrified, of course, having just been transported half-way across the country, never been inside a home, never even had a name. But she’s slowly coming out of her shell, trusts enough to hang out in the family room much of the time, and has even played a little bit with a toy and with some of the other dogs. But she’s also rail thin and looks just worn out.
  • Jet – This tri-color seven-year old girl came to us with her mother, Sienna. She, too, had never had a name and was used solely to produce puppies until she was saved from the puppy mill in Missouri. She hasn’t gotten as accustomed to being around us yet, but we have caught her playing with toys when she thinks we’re not watching. She loves being scratched on the head, but she’s also very anxious about it. But she’ll come around.
  • And, of course, ZenCat! She is the strangest cat (and that’s saying something). She climbs into my lap while I’m trying to work at my computer and demands that I dedicate my entire left arm and hand to holding her (she insists that she put her hind feet into my hand, while her front end is draped over near my elbow). And then she rolls over – still in my arms – onto her back so I can rub her tummy! Very cuddly and affectionate – even likes to be kissed!!

Well, that’s the pack…today, at least. All in all, they’re fantastic and generally pretty quiet, especially when considering how many of them there are.

On this day..

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